The holidays are right around the corner, which means most of us will soon bring seasonal decorations out of storage. To keep it the most wonderful time of the year, Entergy Mississippi shares safety tips for lighting homes.
Bright lights and seasonal candles are holiday staples, but these decorations can be dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly one in five Christmas tree fires started from decorative lights, and eight percent of tree fires started from candles.
Put safety first this holiday season with a few simple reminders and precautions when it comes to decorating indoors and out.
- If using a live tree, make sure it is fresh and green with needles that are hard to pull from the branches.
- Place the tree in a stand with water, well away from heaters or the fireplace. Check water daily.
- Examine all lights before putting them on the tree or using them in other home decorations. Do not use lights with frayed wiring or loose sockets. Make sure they have been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.
- For greater efficiency and safety, use smaller, cool-burning LED lights.
- Make sure all light sockets have bulbs in them. Children are fascinated by lights and could put their fingers in empty sockets.
- Keep bulbs from touching tree branches. Never burn candles on or near the tree and never use flammable decorations.
- Never use lights on a metallic tree. If the lights become faulty, the entire tree could be electrified.
- Be careful not to overload extension cords, outlets or even whole circuits in the house.
- Turn off decorative lighting when you leave the room.
- Place wires where they cannot trip anyone. Do not run them under rugs.
- Make sure the lights used are designated for outdoor use.
- Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights. Also, stay clear of all overhead wires.
- Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.
- Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.
- For outside use, work only with three-wire grounded extension cords.
- Use rubber gaskets in light sockets or hang sockets downward to keep water out.
- Keep connections and lights off the ground by hanging them over wooden stakes. Turn outside holiday lights off when away from home or asleep.
For more holiday lighting and decoration safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.